Call us crazy, but we’ve gotta say that maybe—and this is just a thought—the UM College of Humanities and Sciences shouldn’t downsize its tech support department. Never is a cut like that especially ideal, but there could not be a worse time. It’s not like there is a worldwide pandemic that already forced the entire University to switch to remote instruction or anything.
We understand the tightened budget, and the shift to one, centralized IT department could make sense. That is, if it had been made just a few months earlier, before the back to-school rush. Or if it weren’t at the start of a new semester, again, during a pandemic.
The College of Humanities and Sciences has not completely abandoned its students. If you are in desperate need of tech support, you can call the IT Central Helpdesk and hope to be the lucky 400-something caller on its waitlist! Your learning and tech needs are important, and will be taken care of immediately—in 2 to 3 months. Good thing that laptop isn’t super pertinent to your education, right?
In all seriousness, the decision to cut GrizTech is not only unfair to the students who have been working all summer, managing more than 200 pages for the University’s website, but to less tech-savvy students and (in most cases) even less tech-savvy professors. Making the adjustment to remote learning is difficult enough without being stripped of help from a University where students are paying too much tuition and teachers are getting paid too little to teach.
In this issue, we cover GrizTech’s closure and the employees — both students and full-time staff members — who lost their jobs the first day of fall semester. The cuts are ostensibly a way for the University to save money after revenue losses of pandemic proportions. Hmm, but what about those squat racks at our new Fitness and Recreation Center?